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    d20 OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I



    SENTINELS OF HOUSHEN

    You are from the borderland between the Empire of Hong Long and the vast emptiness that lay betwixt the Most Serene Empire and the lands to the far west. The Most Wise Emperor, Hongse Lao, has decreed that trade routes that connect his empire to lands most distant must be forged. Two routes have been established to accommodate the will of the Emperor - the Gold and Silver Roads. The Gold Road travels through a parched desert where even camels die of thirst, while the Silver Road travels through your hometown, across the Mongontai Mountains and over the great steppe lands of the middle west. The Emperor's officials have made peace with some of the tribes of the north to allow for the safe passage of merchants and the establishment of trading posts where said merchants may bed down and rest, safe and secure. Not all barbarians have agreed to this but the greatest of the horse-riding clans - the Unasan - has acquiesced and from their example, most others will fall in line. Those that do not, will meet the twined attack of the Hong Longese army and the warriors of the Unasan.

    Your hometown - Langzhen - exists on the edge of the Mongontai Mountains, homeland of the Kongren barbarians who call themselves Unasan. Langzhen was a small, out-of-the-way village for thousands of years. Your ancestors traded foodstuffs and metals to the barbarians, in exchange for horses and furs. Indeed, Langzhen was renowned throughout the Most Serene Empire for being the only place where the much coveted fur of winter wolves could be acquired. When the Emperor Hongse Lao decreed that his empire should connect itself with the great realms of the far west, Langzhen was transformed into a bustling metropolis as thousands of merchants, artisans and workers flooded into the village to support and grow the burgeoning business in trade.

    The Mongontai Mountain Range (that the city of Langzhen borders) is very dangerous, as monsters and barbarians abound. The city lay at the mouth of the Yin Caifu Pass, which is the only pass that travels through the eastern section of the snow-capped range. Many caravans snake their way across the pass. All too often, these caravans are as assaulted by vile Shouren, a barbaric and uncultured people who possess green skin, tusk-like teeth, unnatural strength and a penchant for violence. The Shouren are the enemies of all civilized peoples. Even the Great Salkhi Khatun - leader of the nomadic horse-riding human barbarians that call the Mongontai home - consider the Shouren to be disgusting and brutish! The mayor of Langzhen, Wang Yongqi, has heard the pleas of the merchants and has decided to act. He has gathered together a cadre of brave men and women and given them the authority to venture into the Yin Caifu Pass. Their goal is to root out the Shouren and kill their barbaric overlord who goes by the name of Curumus Goz. With the overlord dead, the merchants can pass into the Lake Fengzheng valley, free from ever-present threat of organized Shouren Banditry.


    Spoiler: Langzhen
    Show

    Langzhen resides on the edge of the empire in the Province of Houshen. Houshen is a sparsely populated region due to its distance from the core provinces. Castles both ancient and new abound in the province for it is often the site where great battles between the empire and the barbarians of the north and west meet on the field of battle. Compared to most of the empire, there is a much larger percentage of Langyi living in the province, as the empire heavily garrisons its troops in this often war torn region. As with every north-western province, Houshen is mostly peopled by Houren, whose people have lived in the region since before Hongse Lao came to Hong Long. Small communities of Conkhi also exist, often gathering around roadside shrines and inns.

    The governor of the province and the mayor of Langzhen are both Jinshuren, who were originally part of a great merchant family that looked to the sea, not the land, as the source of their power and wealth. When Hongse Lao originally appointed Wang Shujing to the governorship, many on the east claimed Wang had offended some official, or even the emperor himself. Why else would a dutiful merchant and rising star within the bureaucracy be sent to the far end of the empire? The appointment was made shortly before the decade of Shuijiao, the ten year period where Emperor Hongse Lao slumbers to rejuvenate his ancient body. When the emperor awoke, he was most pleased with Wang Shujing's tactical acumen in regards to his command of imperial forces on the field of battle and his ability to generate a great surplus of both grain and money through infrastructure investments and mercantile endeavors with the barbarians. Hongse Lao was so pleased, in fact, that he commanded the Silver Way - one of two trade routes that would connect Hong Long to the far west - would travel straight through Houshen.

    Once a small, out-of-the-way country village, Langzhen has blossomed as thousands have come from across the empire to help establish the "Town on the Frontier". People have come to Langzhen to settle on the edge of the frontier, each of their stories is as unique as they are interesting and wondrous. Run-a-way peasants, soldiers, warriors, courtesans, officials, brigands, thieves, bastards and more have trekked from far and wide to help make Langzhen the fastest growing municipality in the empire, bar none. Mayor Wang Yongqi was appointed by his father, Governor Wang Shujing, to head up the construction and expansion of the town. Under the Mayor's diligent eye, Langzhen is fast becoming not only an efficient but beautiful place. The work of creating administrative buildings will take many years, as the Governor has donated thousands of sycee to help fund the project. The area where the new town is being constructed lies on an elevated piece of terrain, overlooking the old town and its sprawling rice patty fields. Temporary structures have been erected all across the old town, which include ramshackle houses and the ubiquitous tent. People from all walks of life live next door to one another in old Langzhen, with hundreds streaming out every morning to go work in what will become new Langzhen.


    Spoiler: Races
    Show
    Hong Long is a vast and diverse empire. Many peoples call the Empire home, from the draconic Longyi, to the elemental Yuansu, to the money-like Conkhi, and yet more call the Most Serene Empire home!

    The Longyi, or Dragoborn, are the Emperor's finest warriors. Legend has it that when the Emperor first came to Hong Long, he saw an unruly land where the denizens quarreled and warred with one another. Their never-ending conflicts saw thousands die and brought untold suffering to the peoples of the land. Hongse Lao knew he could not simply compel the warlords to bow before him, no, he would have to defeat them on the field of battle. More must die so that the yet-to-be-born may live in peace. To this end, the Emperor mated with a hundred of concubines. The products of these couplings were the first Dragonborn. These mythical warriors were said to be without peer, that they could slay a hundred men before taking even one wound. With his army of Dragonborn, the Emperor was able to subdue the warlords and bring them all to heel, uniting the whole of Hong Long together. Today, Dragonborn are still the Emperor's warriors, making up the bulk of the soldiers in both the army and the navy. As a race, they see themselves as being a cut above all others, for within them is the blood of Hongse Lao. Dragonborn also make up a large portion of the nobility, with many of their number having ascended to the rank of Bojue (Earl) and have thus been given hereditary control over a Province. Dragonborn are also staunch conservatives, believing in tradition and the status quo, balking at any notion of reform or anything perceived as "foreign".


    - There are five native peoples of Hong Long. Each of the five races embody one of the five elements - Fire, Water, Earth, Metal and Wood. Collectively, they are called Yuansu (Gensai). These peoples make up the bulk of the Empire's population. In the dark times before Emperor Hongse Lao came to Hong Long, the Yuansu divided up the land into a hundred petty kingdoms, each warring endlessly with one another. When the Most Wise Emperor arrived and demanded the warlords cease their fighting and bend their knees, none of the Warlords paid "that dragon" much mind. They continued on with their petty belligerence.

    The Era of Warlords came to an end once the Longyi soldiers washed across Hong Long and defeated every last warlord. Once the warlords were subdued, the Emperor integrated all of the Yuansu with one another by forcing thousands to migrate across the Empire. He believed integration would be the best way to for camaraderie, friendship and understanding to be fostered. The Emperor's wise plan indeed worked flawlessly, for all Yuansu see themselves as one people with five aspects, rather than five different peoples. All Yuansu have two forms, their normal form and their elemental form. At rest, the Yuansu all look very similar, with black hair, almond eyes, and yellowed-skin. However, when a Yuansu embodies his element, his entire appearance dramatically changes to take on aspects of his true elemental soul.


    --- Houren (Fire Genasi) are warm, passionate, restless, enthusiastic and creative. They are also, aggressive, impatient and impulsive. Houren are most common in the northern reaches of the empire, where their inner fire keeps them warm in a land that is often more cold and unforgiving than those of the south. Houren are known to be the most fashionable of the Yuansu, their clothing choices often dictating the trends of the Empire as a whole. Houren music tends to be fast-paced and loud.


    --- Diqiuren (Earth Genasi) are patient, practical, thoughtful, ambitious and hardworking. They are also stubborn, selfish and self-centered. Diqiuren are most common in the wide plains of the north-eastern reaches of the Empire, where their affinity for hard-work allows them to till the often hard soil of the plains. Their diligence has allowed a once vast but barren landscape to blossom. Diqiuren prefer simple, egalitarian outfits that can be used for a variety of different tasks. Rarely do they see the need to own hundreds of outfits. Diqiuren music has a strong but steady beat.


    --- Jinshuren (Metal Genasi) are unyielding, rigid, persistent, strong and determined. They are also controlling, self-reliant and forceful. Jinshuren live in the south-eastern portion of the Empire, where their natural persistence helped to forge the mighty cities that dot the coastline. From these ports flow the many products of the empire and through them, comes the tribute of the world’s nations. Jinshuren are the most tolerant of foreigners, as they deal with them the most. Their clothing is relentlessly dour but streaked with vibrant highlights. Jinshuren music is individualistic, as they prefer to craft their own music. Better a poor tune than a copy.


    --- Shiren (Water Genasi) are intelligent, wise, flexible, fluid and pliant. They are also indecisive, eccentric and stoic. Shiren live in the south-western portion of the Empire, where meandering rivers flow down from the mountains and wash into turbulent seas. The greatest libraries in the empire were created by the Shiren, as culturally, they prefer to spend their free time enjoying well written tales to near exclusion of everything else. It is said Shiren stories either start strong or end strong, rare is the tale that is good all the way through. Shiren clothing is haphazard and disheveled, many are often seen wearing pieces of clothing that do not normally go together or whose colors clash. Shiren music is boisterous, yet oddly tame.


    --- Mutouren (Wood Genasi) are generous, idealistic, natural leaders, decisive and self-improving. They are also assertive, direct and have strong tempers. Mutouren live in the eastern and central reaches of the empire, where they carefully cultivate civilization so that it is in harmony with the natural world. Mutouren are well known for their love of philosophy and the martial arts. They are also capable administrators and government officials, with fully half the bureaucracy of the Empire being peopled by Mutouren. Their clothing favors greens but, in general, Mutouren will wear whatever is popular. Mutouren music is thrilling and exciting.


    - The Conkhi, or Monkey Men, are said to have come to Hong Long from a distant island. Their leaders sought the enlightenment of Hongse Lao, for they believed their own native civilization to be paltry and barbaric. They wished to learn at the feet of the being who was called "Most Wise". Rather than simply sending emissaries or ambassadors, the leaders of the Conkhi uprooted their entire population and sailed to Hong Long. Initially, the Hong Longese did not know what to make of a thousand ship armada bearing down on the coasts of the Empire. Some said it was an invasion, others said they were refugees. Against the council of his advisers, the Emperor flew out to the lead ship and met with the Conkhi King - Lon Thong Minh. There the Emperor learned of the Conkhi's desire to better themselves through knowledge and wisdom. Hongse Lao allowed the Conkhi to settle in Hong Long, dividing their population up and distributing them evenly across the empire as a whole. The Conkhi are exuberant and playful but also possess an inner-desire to always be the best. Much like the Mutouren, the Conkhi enjoy martial arts, many Conkhi dedicate their entire lives to the pursuit of martial perfection. Interestingly, Conkhi actually hatch from eggs.


    - The Laoshu, or Rat Men, are landless nomads that travel across the empire in small, familial bands. Laoshu are not liked by most, since they are often viewed as foreigners, thieves and vagrants. They are said to spread disease and misfortune by the merest proximity. The Laoshu came from a desert land to the south-west of Hong Long. They migrated to the Empire in small groups. Although only a handful of Laoshu come to Hong Long each year, over the course of millennia, they have become quite numerous. The Laoshu came to the Empire without permission and have never been given proper authorization to settle within the Empire. They are thus landless and nomadic, trekking from one city to the next, seeking just enough supplies to keep them fed and happy before moving on to the next town. Laoshu are often persecuted, especially by populist government officials, who view the Laoshu are ghastly criminals. To the Laoshu, the Empire is a wondrous land of bounty and they are thankful that they were able to settle in such an idyllic realm, for death and starvation were their constant companions in their ancient homeland.


    - The Petjar are an dutiful race of Badger Men who, for the most part, live in the far west of the empire, deep within the shifting sands of the Desert of Death. The Petjar are world famous for their mastery over a mysterious and rare metal called mithral, which can only be found within the desert. The Petjar worship the same deity as the elves of the far west - the God of Gods, Aakaash. Their worship of a foreign and enigmatic deity leaves the Petjar isolated and distrusted within the empire, doubly so because they did not willingly join the empire but rather were conquered after a long and bloody war. The Desert of Death has been lorded over by a series of brutal general-governors who have forcibly extracted as much mineral wealth as possible while attempting to impose Lujing upon the unwilling masses.



    - The dominant religion in Hong Long is called Lujing. It is a religion that seeks to balance the light and the dark by walking the middle path between them. It is believed one should not be wholly good, nor wholly evil. That it would be unhealthy for one's chi to over-indulge in one aspect over the other. When a person dies, his soul is reincarnated into a new body. If he walked the middle path, then he will be reincarnated on earth. If he strayed from the path, then he will be reincarnated in either Heaven or Hell as an Angel or a Devil (depending on which way he strayed). According to Lujing dogma, being reborn in Heaven or Hell is anathema, since it is virtually impossible to be reincarnated on earth once more. Your soul will forever be locked away since you will never be able to walk the center path again (as the influence of Heaven and Hell will dominate your very existence). Over time, your soul will lose its individuality and slowly merge with the very essence of Heaven or Hell. Your soul is thus obliterated and will never again be reincarnated. Walking the center path is thus seen as a moral obligation that all mortals must follow, since each soul that goes to Heaven or Hell diminishes the bounty of the mortal plane.

    In the early days of the Empire, the Emperor traveled to the Monastery of a Hundred Eyes and asked the monks there if they would sacrifice their souls by becoming Fanglu - Walkers of the Side Path. The Emperor asked that these one hundred monks stray from the central path - the Lujing - and achieve Heyi - oneness - with either Heaven of Hell. The Emperor asked these monks to do this because he recognized the fact that he needed unbiased opinions if he were to govern such a large and diverse empire effectively. He desired to integrate Fanglu within his court so they could offer council that would not be tainted by the petty squabbling and infighting that would eventually arise within the government of his empire. He also desired viewpoints of those who were not walking the path, so that he may better analyze a situation and come to the best decision possible (even if that decision was unexpected and nontraditional). The price for achieving Heyi was the damnation of their souls to either Heaven or Hell. They would never be reincarnated on earth and, eventually, their souls would merge with Heaven/Hell and be lost forever.

    These monks readily agreed to Hongse Lao's plan, for they had watched the centuries long war between the Hundred Warlords and knew full well that if they could do anything to prevent such bloodshed from occurring again, they were morally obligated to act. They split themselves into two groups and, after many years of trial and error, achieved Heyi. The bodies of the monks were physically altered and their mentalities along with it. Unlike other denizens of the empire, the Funglu cannot hide their essence (the way others can with their connection to the elements, which only manifests when the person embodies an aspect of their element). Instead, the Funglu always look different, like a person who is simultaneously both a mortal and an angel/devil.

    Over time, it was found the Funglu lived for about twice as long as a normal man. As the first generation of Fanglu were growing old, they asked the Emperor for permission to have children. They wanted to ensure that when they passed to Heaven or Hell, that at least a part of them would linger on the material plane through their children. After years of contentious debate, the Emperor allowed the Fanglu to have children. However, to ensure their opinions would always be unbiased, he made it illegal for Fanglu to inherit anything. Fanglu - even those who are not apart of court - cannot inherit land, money nor items. Nothing. This obviously caused much descent within the Fanglu community but there is little they can do, since this edict was pronounced from the Throne of Lilies (and thus can never be recanted without the Emperor going on a penance quest). The pronouncement came just one day after the Emperor had decided to allow Fanglu to bear children. Sadly, nine months later, it was discovered that the children of Fanglu were also Fanglu, rather than being Yuansu, like their parents were before achieving Heyi, which makes the pronouncment all the more bitter to the original monk's descendants.


    --- Wusiren (Aasimar) are descendants of those monks who became Funglu and achieved Heyi with Heaven. They have blonde or white hair, blue eyes and lily white skin. As a general stereotype, Wusiren are almost always seen as being unnaturally beautiful. As a people, Wusiren are unusually kind and generous, to the point of being unhealthily nice. They seek out those in need, they donate most of their money to charities and/or monasteries. They live a pure and simple life, one that does not seek recognition, only the knowledge that they have done good. This is not to say Wusiren are so benevolent but, for the most part, their lives are far more good than those of a person walking the Middle Path.


    --- Zisiren (Tieflings) are descendants of those monks who became Funglu and achieved Heyi with Hell. They have ruddy skin, horns, forked tongues and scaly tails. As a general stereotype, people Zisiren are seen as either eerily beautiful or disgustingly ugly. As a people, Zisiren, are unusually despicable and untrustworthy. They lie and cheat, even when doing so would not help nor hinder them. They disregard the needy and hoard money for themselves. Those unaffiliated with the clergy or the court, often become criminals and thieves. Since they cannot inherit or pass their worldly possessions on, they instead spend lavishly on themselves, to the point of being ridiculously ostentatious. This is not to say all Zisiren are this way but, for the most part, their lives are far more evil than those of a person walking the Middle Path.


    --- Once you stray from the Lujing and are reincarnated in either Heaven or Hell, it is next to impossible to be reincarnated on earth once more, as you will never be exposed to enough of the opposite chi to walk the middle path. However, exceptions exist. When a person is able to achieve the impossible by reincarnating on earth, then he is reborn as a Liwairen (Deva). Liwairen are respected and honored, even as children, for they have done something impossible. This acclaim and interest often hound a Liwairen. It can be difficult to escape notice for, just like Wusiren and Zisiren, Liwiren are permanently marked. If their souls came from Heaven, then their bodies have blue eyes and fair skin; if they are from Hell, then they have dark skin and red eyes. Liwairen often become hermits, mediating on their impossible feat, recording any insights they glean, which can be used by future generations to help recover lost souls.


    - In the wild lands between Hong Long and the far west, there are a people that do not look too dissimilar to Yuansu. They live for about as long, have similar facial features and look, for all intents and purposes, as Yuansu (albeit uncouth and barbaric). These people are called Kongren (Humans). Yet unlike Yuansu, these people cannot manifest an element. No matter what they do, their bodies never change. They are permanently bound to their non-elemental form. Some claim these people are Yuansu who were connected to the mysterious sixth element - Void. In fact, this is where their name is derived from (i.e. Void People). Others speculate that perhaps their used to be a sixth element but it was lost/destroyed/forgotten-about and thus those Yuansu simply lost their connection to the element. Others speculate that perhaps the Kongren are the true form of the Yuansu and that their connection to the elements came at some point after the Kongren and the Yuansu parted ways. Regardless of the theory, the Kongren live outside the Empire, in the Mongontai Mountains and the lands beyond. Kongren are honorable but also barbaric. They are nomadic pastoralists who prefer the company of animals to that of their non-immediate kin. Unlike the Hong Longese, the Kongren do not follow Lujing. Instead they worship a primitive pantheon of deities, each of whom possesses a different dogma and requires different sacrifices and rituals. The Hong Longese have long sought to convert the barbarians to the proper religion - so that their souls are not lost to Heaven or Hell - but such attempts have been met with little success.



    - In the wild lands beyond Hong Long there also exist giants, men of unparalleled height and physical strength. They are both feared and loved by the Hong Longese, who use giants in many of their stories and tales. The smallest of the giants, the Juren (Goliath), are only half again as tall as a Yuansu. They are nomads and wanderers, much like the Kongren. They live high up in the mountains, where few dare to tread. Those Juren that come down to the valleys below are often found to be intrigued by Hong Longese civilization, some even electing to travel to the capital city to join the ranks of the army. There upon, the generals of Hong Long use the Juren as heavily armored shock troops. Lo betide the fool who tries to take down a raging Juren shock trooper!



    Spoiler: Race Mechanics
    Show

    This list shows the setting's name for the race, D&D's name for the race and default languages for each race in this setting.

    Longyi - Dragonborn - Yun and Zandou
    Houren - Fire Genasi - Yun, Rezi and either Gao Long or Di Long
    Diqiuren - Earth Genasi - Yun, Nizi and either Gao Long or Di Long
    Jinshuren - Metal Genasi (see below) - Yun, Tizi and either Gao Long or Di Long
    Shiren - Water Genasi - Yun, Bozi and either Gao Long or Di Long
    Mutouren - Wood Genasi (see below) - Yun, Yezi and either Gao Long or Di Long
    Conkhi - Halfling - Yun and Duoi Chuyen
    Laoshu - Gnome - Yun and Terku
    Petjar - Dwarves - Yun, Col and Archcha
    Wusiren - Aasimar - Yun, Tianshang and either Gao Long or Di Long
    Zisiren - Tiefling - Yun, Diyu and either Gao Long or Di Long
    Liwairen - Deva (see below) - Yun, either Tianshang or Diyu and either Gao Long or Di Long
    Kongren - Human - Yun and Unasani
    Juren - Goliath - Yun and Pani

    Spoiler: Jinshuren/Metal Genasi
    Show
    Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.

    Strength of Steel: When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit. This ability only works if the weapon used is metal.

    Hard as Iron. You know the mending cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast shield as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait, and you regain the ability to cast it this way when you finish a long rest. Constitution is your spellcasting ability for these spells.


    Spoiler: Mutouren/Wood Genasi
    Show
    Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score
    increases by 1.

    Poison Resistance. You have resistance to poison damage.

    Woodland Walk. You can move across difficult terrain made of shrubbery, trees, hedges, etc. without expending extra movement.

    Woodland Strider. You can cast the spider climb spell once with this trait, requiring no material components, and you regain the ability to cast it this way when you finish a long rest. Dexterity is your spellcasting ability for this spell. This ability only works on surfaces made from wood.



    Spoiler: Liwairen/Deva
    Show
    Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 1, and your Wisdom score increases by 2.

    Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

    Darkvision: Thanks to your heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

    Middle Path Resistance: You have resistance to either cold or fire damage.

    Finding Balance: You know the guidance cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the detect evil and good spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the zone of truth spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.



    Language Descriptions:


    - Yun is a simple trade language, that was originally created in times immemorial for travelers and people who interacted with travelers. Yun's grammar has been intentionally designed to be as simple as possible and its vocabulary is very limited. Unlike most other languages in Hong Long, Yun does not use lithographs and instead is an Abjad (an alphabet that excludes vowels). The abjad was created because it was believed foreigners and the peasants were not diligent enough to learn proper writing. Due to its wide use, many people default to Yun when speaking to people of different classes or from different regions (at least until a mutual language is found).

    - The Yuansu each maintain their own native language, in addition to more standardized and universal languages. All five of the languages share a similar linguistic parentage but each has been shaped and molded by its speakers and the elements they embody. Rezi (language of the Houren) is said to be the most different of the five, often embracing grammar and syntax from the barbarians of the north and west. Yezi (language of the Mutouren) is said to be the easiest second language to learn, since it has aspects in common with the other four. Tizi (language of the Jinshuren) contains many foreign words, adopted from the merchants and traders they regularly encounter in the great ports of the empire. Nizi (language of the Diqiuren) is the most conservative and old fashioned of the languages, while Bozi (language of the Shiren) is said to be the most poetic with very few strict syntax rules.

    - When Hongse Lao came to Hong Long, he realized there needed to be a language that could unify the peoples of his disparate empire. He and a legion of scholars crafted a language based on the five Yuansu languages with elements of Zandou added in. The language that was created was called Long, in honor of the land in which it was meant to be used.

    Over time, two distinct varieties of Long developed. The more poetic and stately Gao Long, which is used by the wealthy, the administrators and the philosophers. Gao Long is erudite and poetic, it is strictly regulated by government officials so that the language does not change or evolve. The language people speak today is exactly the same as the one they spoke in the past.

    The second variety is called Di Long. It is the common vernacular of Long that is used by the masses of the empire. Unlike Gao Long, Di Long was allowed to evolve and change with the times, accept loan words from all five Yuansu languages as well as foreign languages. Due to this evolution, Di Long has become a very different language from that of Gao Long. The two are now as distinct as Summer and Winter. Beyond that, there are local and regional varieties of Di Long, which have diverged even more. When officials which to speak to commoners (or vice versa), Yun is often used as a supplement to allow for common communication.

    - Zandou is the native language of dragons. Zandou is spoken by the Longyi, for it connects them with their ancient heritage as the scions of Hongse Lao. Zandou is a very difficult to learn because it is a complex agglutinative language filled with irregular verbs and nouns. Although many Yuansu attempt to speak the language, many Longyi claim the Yuansu sound like children with mouthfuls of rice. Of all the other races in the empire, only the Laoshu have a knack for the language, which helps explain why Laoshu are often seen congregating around military forts, where the Longyi soldiers are stationed.

    - Duoi Chuyen is the language of the Conkhi. To non-speakers, the language is often cited to sound like a monkey screeching and hollering. Indeed, the Conkhi believe that if one is not boisterously talking with wide swings in volume, then one is not really speaking properly. It can take many years of careful study but most Yuansu can eventually learn Duoi Chuyen and gain the mastery of the language similar to that of a native speaker.

    - Terku is the native language of the Laoshu. It is said to sound like whispered hisses. It is considered bad form for a proper subject of the realm to learn Terku - even if you deal with Laoshu often enough to warrant learning the language. Because Laoshu are not officially recognized by the Emperor, it is quite common for people to believe the Laoshu should learn an imperial tongue and imperial citizens should not lower themselves to learning such a filthy language.

    - Col is the native tongue of the Petjar. Often considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn by Yuansu. Col is a highly regimented language with few, if any, irregularities. Culturally, the Petjar do not use slang or adopt foreign words into their own tongue unless absolutely necessary. Its script was adapted from Archcha. Unfortunately, the script and the language do not live harmoniously with one another. Visiting Yuansu often comment about this issue but the Petjar state that their faith in Aakaash demands that they use his divine script.

    - Archcha is the language of the peoples of the far west. It is the language that Aakaash spoke when he visited the mortal plane. The language has a sing-song quality to it that many Yuansu find alluring. It is not an especially difficult language to learn, although its abugida script does take some getting used to.The language is rarely spoken outside of places of worship.

    - Tianshang is the language of celestial beings. Much like Archcha, Tianshang has a sing-song cadence to it. Many claim the language sounds similar to Gao Long, except every sentence eerily blends seamlessly into the next like an incredibly well written song. Very few people in Hong Long know Tianshang.

    - Diyu is the language of infernal beings. It is harsh and rough with an emphasis on hard sounds. Many claim Diyu sounds like Gao Long, except spoken by someone with a sore throat and who coughs a lot. Very few people in Hong Long know Diyu.

    - Unasani is the language of the Unasan, the Kongren peoples of the Mongontai Mountains. To Yuansu ears, the language sounds like a pig squealing or a crow cawing. It has a simple written alphabet.

    - Pani is the language of the Juren who live in the Mongontai Mountains. The language is very simplistic with a very small amount of words. The Juren prefer to say nothing rather than blather on. Their language reflects this.




    (I hit the character cap. Look for the Big 16 in Post #2!)
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Spoiler: Religions
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    Spoiler: Lujing (Hong Long)
    Show
    Religiously, the Hong Longese believe in the dualistic nature of the universe, the split between good and evil – Hao and Xiee. Hao represents good, while Xiee represents evil. Neither aspect is admirable, for if a person's embodies one of the two natures, then his chi will be imbalanced. The Hong Longese thus follow the middle path of balance between the two called Lujing. Hong Longese believe Lujing is the way all peoples of the world should live their lives. Neither being greedy, nor wholly selfless. Neither benevolent, nor wholly wrathful. Neither happy, nor wholly sad. Walking Lujing means you will lead a more fulfilling life in the present and thus be rewarded with reincarnation upon death.

    If you stray from Lujing, then when you die, your soul will be reincarnated in either Heaven or Hell, depending on how you lived your life. Once in Heaven or Hell, you will continue the process of birth, death and reincarnation. However, since your chi will rarely, if ever, be exposed to the force opposed to where you dwell (good for Hell and evil for Heaven), you will never be able to walk the middle path. Each time you reincarnate in Heaven or Hell, a piece of your soul is forever lost. Over time, your very soul will cease to exist, as it merges fully with Heaven or Hell. That is why walking Lujing is so important - so long as you are reincarnated on earth, your soul remains intact. When your soul becomes trapped in Heaven or Hell, the bounty of the material plane is diminished by the loss.


    Spoiler: Elemental Reverence (Hong Long)
    Show
    In addition to Lujing, Hong Longese also venerate the elements. Each element embodies the aspects that make a Yuansu display their elemental soul. Conceptually, each of the five elements is represented by a different animal. Shrines dedicated to one or more of the elements can be found scattered throughout cities and along roadsides. Every city has at least one main temple at which the clergy will sacrifice animals and invoke miracles. Just as with the Middle Path between Good and Evil, Hong Longese culture tries to find balance between all of the elements. Every Yuansu is going to naturally favor one element but it is important to not neglect the others. Although there is no divine punishment for neglecting an element or favoring one above another, it is considered decent and proper to do so live a life of balance.

    - The Fire Tiger - Warmth, Passion, Restlessness, Enthusiasm and Creativity.
    - The Earth Ox - Patience, Practicality, Thoughtfulness, Ambition and Hardwork.
    - The Metal Tortoise - Implacability, Rigidity, Persistence, Strength and Determination.
    - The Water Shark - Intelligence, Wisdom, Flexibility, Fluidity and Pliancy.
    - The Wood Elephant - Generosity, Idealism, Leadership, Decisiveness and Resoluteness.

    It is believed there are five great winds that wash across the lands of Hong Long, each one derived from one of the elemental animals. The roar of the tiger comes from the north west, the fart of the ox comes from the west, the yawn of the tortoise comes from the south west, the tail slap of the shark comes from the south-east and the sneeze of the elephant comes from the south.


    Spoiler: Ling Mei (Hong Long)
    Show
    There is a small cult of people within Hong Long who believe Hongse Lao is actually a god formed by the merging of two souls, one from Heaven and one from Hell. They believe he came to the mortal plane in order to oversee the most serene of mortal realms. They believe that Hongse Lao guides his people towards a destiny where all true believers will eventually ascend and become divine dragons in their own right. They will achieve this by setting Lujing aside and embracing either Hao or Xiee fully. They do not wish to become Funglu (Walkers of the Side Path) as they believe Hongse Lao wishes for the Cultists to remain pure and untainted by Heaven or Hell until the moment before ascension occurs, when their souls will merge with their twinned opposite and thus be reborn as an immortal dragon, just like Hongse Lao.

    The concept feels wholly alien to most within Hong Long, and as such worshipers have been driven underground by the central government, who persecutes them (often with a passion). Within Hong Long, these cultists are called Ling Mei, or whisperers, since they gather in secret. Many have left Hong Long and come to the trading posts in Mongontai Mountains, where they may worship openly and freely.


    Spoiler: Choloot Burkhad Pantheon (Unasan/Kongren)
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    Khudlach, Gods-Khan, is the leader of the Unasan Pantheon. He is the youngest son of the Father of All, Saikhan. Khudlach is the god of lies, trickery, greed, weather, destruction and beauty. He is very capricious, believing everyone should bow to his will. When people do not bend their knee, he will go out of his way to humiliate and destroy them. He did this to his own father, who had long chastised Khudlach for being unworthy of his divinity. The God of Trickery learned of the true name of his father and with that power stole the Crown of Gods from his father and became the Gods-Khan. Since his usurpation, Khudlach has demanded an ever increasing amount of gold be given to him as tribute for his continued benevolence. When Khudlach feels too little has been given as tribute, he will summon forth great blizzards which can last for days at a time. Kudlach is associated with vultures.

    Saikhan is the Father of All, the creator of the universe, the earth and all the things that populate it. He is the god of creation, love, peace, hearth, holidays and dreams. He was a peace-loving, benevolent Gods-Khan, who favored his chosen people with great gifts and miracles. His reign came to an end when his youngest son – Khudlach - learned of Saikhan’s true name. With that power, he was able to compel Saikhan to abdicate and give his mantle to his son. It is said Saikhan watched in horror at the reign of terror his son as wrecked upon Saikhan’s chosen people and so took mortal form to live as an ascetic monk or shepherd (depending on the story). Saikhan is associated with the moon and hawks.

    Tulaan is the Warrior of the Stars. He is the god of battle, warriors, weapons, the stars, constellations and the abundance of alcohol. Tulaan is a proactive god, who asks great warriors to fight in his name. If they spill the most blood, or device the greatest strategy, or perform a deed worthy of song, then Tulaan will reward the warrior by creating a constellation in his honor. Tulaan often hides magical weapons throughout the world so that the bravest and most cunning warriors will find them and use them to spread the name of Tulaan across the world. Tulaan is associated with horses.

    Khoor is the god of life, protection, passion, mirth, joy and armor. Khoor believes all life is sacred and must be cherished. He takes great joy in life and believes all should celebrate what little time they have on the earth. Sadness, depression and anger are poisons that distort and ruin your life. The best armor smiths in the Mongontai Mountains all sacrifice chickens to Khoor before creating armor, for it is said armor not crafted with the blessing of Khoor will fall apart when the wearer needs it most. Khoor is associated with chickens.

    Dain is the Mother Goddess and is the wife of Saikhan. She is the goddess of dance, motherhood, children, milk and leadership. Dain is a loving mother who is said to stand next to every Unasan woman who is giving birth, guiding the child and protecting the mother. If the mother dies during birth, then it is said Dain took the soul of the woman up the heavens so that Tulaan could re-forge the woman as a star. All Khans and Khatuns derive their power Dain’s grace. Her name is invoked when a new Khan/Khatun is crowned. It is said when a Khan/Katun dies in battle, s/he did so because they angered Dain in some way. She is associated with the sun and cows.


    Spoiler: Yax and Yom (Juren)
    Show
    The Juren of the Mongontai Mountains worship two opposed deities - Yaxrug and Yomrog. The Juren believe that the world is separated into two opposed forces, those of Yax (good) and those of Yom (evil). The Juren believe every action is either Yax or Yom, there is no grey area between the two concepts. Yom is embodied by the ideals of collectivism and tribal loyalty. You are Yax when you help your tribe or those within it. You are Yom when you do selfish things that hinder the tribe. The Juren live on the knife's edge of survival and so do not trust or embrace outsiders readily. Juren believe anyone who is not apart of their tribe is Yom. Helping a stranger is Yom, saving a stranger is Yom, talking with a stranger is Yom. To the Juren, isolation are key tenants of their faith. An outsider must prove he is not Yom by giving something of value to the tribe, something that will enrich the tribe and/or better allow it to survive. Once an outsider makes such an offering, he is considered Yax by the tribe. He becomes a member of the tribe.

    Yax and Yom are embodied by the two halves of the moon, the right half is Yax and the left half is Yom. During the night of the First Quarter, a great celebration is held that celebrates Yaxrug. All of the tribesmen are grouped up into bands of three or four, then ritually married to one another. For the next two weeks, these "married" groups live together in a yurt. During the third quarter, a great celebration is held in honor of Yomrog, where all of the tribe's yurts are combined into a single complex yurt. When morning dawns, any who are not inside of the yurt are considered to be Yom to the tribe.

    Many traders and merchants bitterly complain about the system of Yax and Yom, especially the celebration of Yomrog, for if they are not present in the yurt the morning after, they immediately become Yom. It does not matter if they became Yax the day before. If they are not inside the yurt at dawn, then they are Yom to the tribe. Each time a trader is labeled as Yom, he must earn back his Yax by offering a gift. This fact makes dealing with the Juren incredibly difficult and expensive, which is why some tribes are only visited once or twice a year at most.


    Spoiler: Aakaashism (Petjar Religion)
    Show
    Aakaash is the deity whose faith washed across the far west a millennia ago. Aakaash is divided into six aspects - God of Gods and the Six Prophets. Aakaash is said to have taken mortal form six times, each time preaching a different aspect of the faith - Worship, Justice, Temperance, Love, Subservience and Conversion.

    Worship: Aakaash demands all of the faithful prostrate themselves facing towards the sun six times a day. While doing so, they are to repeat, "Aakaash came to earth in the form of six prophets. Only by their revelations does my soul become pure, does my soul become noble, does my soul become benevolent."

    Justice: Aakaash teaches the faithful that mortals are inherently malevolent. That the faithful should be ever vigilant for villainous behavior. That such wickedness needs to be punished. That it is the duty of all faithful to punish the wicked. An eye for an eye, a hand for a hand, a life for a life.

    Temperance: Aakaash demands the faithful be temperate and never over-indulge in any aspect of life.

    Love: Aakaash demands his followers embrace their neighbors as family and strangers are neighbors. The God of Gods demands the faithful to give freely and generously to charities.

    Subservience: Aakaash demands that the faithful be subservient to the clergy, for they have been divinely inspired with purer, nobler and more benevolent truths above and beyond those he has shown to the masses. Clerics are the most pure, the most noble and the most benevolent of all mortal kind. They deserve reverence and demand subservience.

    Conversion: Aakaash teaches that it is the duty of every faithful man and woman to convert at least one soul to the true faith. The faithful who fulfill this requirement will be rewarded greatly. The more unfaithful shown the truth of Aakaash, the greater the reward.


    Spoiler: Laoshu Religion
    Show

    The Laoshu, or Makkal in their native tongue, worship two opposed deities - Valkka the Creator and Maranam the Devourer. To the Makkal, Valkka was formed from the nothingness of the void. She found herself alone and sad. Valkka ripped her fingers off, ground them to dust and formed Maranam from the divine shape-sand. Over the eons, Valkka and Maranam grew very close to one another until one day they embraced... From their love, was birthed the universe, the stars, the sun, the moon and the earth.

    Maranam cared little for the universe, only for his lover, Valkka. Meanwhile, Valkka saw much potential in the universe and set about creating life, spreading it far an wide. Valkka's task was long and arduous, as it took much trial and error to get exactly right.

    Maranam grew resentful of how much attention she paid to her new creations. He tried to draw her attention away from her gardens of life but she could not be bothered to heed Maranam's pleas.

    Eventually, Valkka created the Makkal. She dubbed them her most perfect creation.

    Maranam heard this and was outraged! HE was Valkka's first and best creation, for was he not a god, like her? The Makkal were small, tiny creatures! They were not perfect in any way! Maranam thus traveled across the universe, eating the Makkal in all their wondrous forms.

    Valkka was outraged at Maranam's behavior. The two deities bickered for a life age until a Makkal climbed up atop the highest peak and shouted to the deities. He told them he was Naṭuttara, Chieftain of the Makkal. He offered to be an arbiter in their argument. After yet more bickering, the two gods decided to allow Naṭuttara to arbitrate.

    Over the course of a thousand years, it was decided that Makkal were the second best creation of Valkka and that, to emphasize this point, Makkal would be given mortality. In return for these deficits, Valkka would be allowed to spend as much time as she wanted with the Makkal, so long as she spent one century out of every millennium with Maranam.

    This great peace was heralded by the gods and the masses as just and right. Peace and serenity reigned supreme for five millennia. At the dawning of the sixth, Valkka lost track of time and did not go to see her lover. Maranam waited for a thousand years and she did not come. Knowing she was obsessed with the Makkal, Maranam went across creation and devoured each and every Makkal he could find. Countless Makkal are said to have been consumed.

    Valkka rushed to her lover's side and demanded to know why he was breaking their agreement. Maranam did not give her the satisfaction of an answer. He simply attacked Valkka and devoured her whole. He left only her right eye, so that she could see her favorite creations perish in increasingly horrific ways.

    After ten thousand years of consumption, Maranam came to the last settlement of Makkal. They were isolated and had no contact with their kin. They did not pay Valkka's absence much mind, they simply believed she was tending to other gardens.

    With a devious grin, Maranam disguised himself as Valkka and walked amongst the Makkal. Believing him to be their creator, the Makkal listened to Maranam as he taught them dark and vile rituals, rituals that despoiled the land and all life. Such rituals fed the Great Devourer, while imparting a spark of power to the person performing the ritual.

    Over time, the Makkal grew addicted to the power, which they called Sippor. The priests of Valkka (or the deity they believed to be Valkka) realized the Sippor was growing ever more fleeting. The only way to maintain the same spark of power was to obliterate ever larger tracts of land. Over the course of centuries, the priests also learned that using the ritual upon animals delivered a stronger spark than the spark gained from despoiling plants. One enterprising priest - Iruṇṭa - turned the spell towards his own kind. The spark gained from killing but one Makkal was more potent than any that ever been created before.

    Irunta slaughtered thousands on his quest for power. His wrath was unending. Those who could flee, did so. Some went east, some went west, and some braved the perilous journey across high peaks of the Bing Feng Xue Mountains to travel into the safety of Hong Long.

    Once here, most Makkal abandon their faith and convert to Hong Longese religions.


    Spoiler: Map
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    Spoiler: The Big 16
    Show
    1. What game system are you running? D&D 5th Edition

    2. What is the setting for the game? A homebrewed setting called Hong Long

    3. How many Players are you looking for? Will you be taking alternates, and if so, how many? 5-6

    4. What's the gaming medium (OOTS, chat, e-mail etc.)? Play-by-post on these forums.

    5. What is the characters' starting status (i.e. experience level)? Level 3

    6. How much gold or other starting funds will the characters begin with? Max gold for your class.

    7. Are there any particular character classes, professions, orders, etc. that you want... or do not want? What are your rules on 'prestige' and/or homebrewed classes? Everything in the Player's Guide and the Elemental Evil Player Companion is legal. Anything else will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

    8. What races, subraces, species, etc. are allowed for your game? Will you allow homebrewed races or species? 'Prestige' races or species? Look in the Race mechanic spoiler for a list of races.

    9. By what method should Players generate their attributes/ability scores and Hit Points? 4d6b3 six times, place them where you want. If you don't like your rolls, feel free to use the standard array.

    10. Does your game use alignment? What are your restrictions, if so? The setting focuses on Neutrality. I will allow evil characters as well as good ones. Please don't play a Chaotic-Stupid or Stuipid-Evil character. The goal of the game is to keep the group together, so regardless of what happens, players need to workout a solution to maintain group coherency. I don't want Johnny Paladin quitting because he can't deal with Timmy Warlock killing someone (or Timmy not liking the idea of saving an orphanage). Keep the group together and remember it is a game :)

    11. Do you allow multi-classing, or have any particular rules in regards to it? Normal rules.

    12. Will you be doing all of the die rolling during the course of the game? Will die rolls be altered, or left to the honor system? If players can make die rolls, which ones do they make, how should they make the rolls, and how should they report them? Standard fair, I roll my stuff, you roll your stuff, I roll the secret rolls.

    13. Are there any homebrewed or optional/variant rules that your Players should know about? If so, list and explain them, or provide relevant links to learn about these new rules. Posting on forums sucks because of the delay, especially during combat. We will be using a system to help speed things up. Basically, spell attacks. Rather than me casting a spell and waiting for you to roll a save, we will reverse the system. I will roll a "spell attack", which will target your Fort/Ref/Will defense. I have used this system for years and it is a massive lifestyle improvement for the medium in which we are playing.

    14. Is a character background required? If so, how big? Are you looking for anything in particular (i.e. the backgrounds all ending up with the characters in the same city)? The 10 minute background is what I would like. It doesn't have to be long winded (in fact shorter is probably better), but I find I can pull elements out of your backstory to enrich the world and draw your character more deeply into it.

    15. Does your game involve a lot of hack & slash, puzzle solving, roleplaying, or a combination of the above? Balance, although puzzles are less likely to be common.

    16. Are your Players restricted to particular rulebooks and supplements, or will you be allowing access to non-standard material? What sources can Players use for their characters? Player's Handbook and the Elemental Evil Player's Companion are legal. Other official 5E material will be considered on a case by case basis.




    Grand Table of Sentinels


    Player Character Gender Race Class Alignment Complete
    Lord Of Mantas Hei Jiafa Male Tiefling (Zirisen) Warlock Lawful Evil Yes
    Fishybugs Aya Re Female Houren (Fire Genasi) Sorceror Chaotic Neutral Yes
    Dr.Samurai Guiren Baotsu Male Petjar (Badgerfolk - Dwarf Stats) Barbarian Lawful Good No
    UrsusArctos Qianal Ai Male Longyi (Dragonborn) Paladin 2/Barbarian 1 True Neutral Yes

    Spoiler: Inactive Players
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    Player Character Gender Race Class Alignment Complete
    Videkus Shun Male Ratfolk (Laoshu) Druid Lawful Neutral Yes
    HanaRei Kari Lyn Female Half Wood Genasi/Human (Kongren, Half Mutouren) Rogue Chaotic Neutral Yes


    Spoiler: Old Characters
    Show

    Player Character Gender Race Class Alignment Complete
    Pope Scarface Ren Til Male Juren (Goliath) Ranger Neutral Good Yes
    Estralita Li Mei Female Deva (Liwairen) Monk Lawful Neutral Yes
    Arcbound Fai Male Ratfolk (Laoshu) Wizard Neutral Good Yes
    Dudu Cao Bai Male Water Genasi (Shiren) Cleric Lawful Neutral Yes?
    Mathemagics Wei Xiulan Female Aasimar (Wusiren) Bard Lawful Good Yes


    Currency: The standard unit of currency in Hong Long is the Cash. It is the equivalent of the D&D Copper Coin. Cash is a copper coin with a hole in the middle. The coins are designed to be strung together. A String has 1,000 Cash coins on it. A String is divided into 10 Sections, each with 100 Cash coins. Due to the weight and bulk involved in transporting Cash around, the government issues Banknotes equal to an equivalent amount of Cash. The two systems are used interchangeably, with coins being more common when dealing with foreigners and in the outer provinces, while the inner provinces use banknotes far more heavily.


    D&D Equivalent Hong Longese Currency
    1 Copper Piece 1 Cash
    1 Silver Piece 10 Cash
    1 Gold Piece 1 Section (100 Cash strung together)
    1 Platinum Piece 1 String (1,000 Cash) or 1 Tael



    #Religion
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Kari calls dibs on Indigo. Hard pick for me but I think its the most fitting for my character on several levels. :P

    Kari (Lyn) - The Rogue.

    Spoiler: 10 Minute Backstory
    Show
    Step 1:

    1.) She was of a Mutouren woman and a Kongren barbarian having been conceived during a raid when her mother had been traveling left as one of the few survivors. Her mother disposed of her when she was super young having never known who she was having been taken in on the streets and raised as part of a gang of children and a few teens.

    2.) She was snatched at the age of 12 and was put to work in a brothel in the more wealthy side of town.

    3.) At 15, Kari snapped upon one particularly abusive and cruel 'costumer' and murdered him in cold blood. She fled quickly, the penalty of murder far outweighing the dangers of escaping.

    4.) Kari was found and recruited in a secret organization who dealt with assassination. She was assigned simply the name 'Widow' due to her particularly assigned work methods. Her talents working at the brothel were used as a tool to murder certain individuals the group ordered her to kill.

    5.) At 18, the group had an inner struggle that caused a disruption within the organization. She used the opportunity to leave the group using the strife as her one chance to be free and attempt to find her own way and put her darker past to the side.

    Step 2:

    1.) Kari strives to find a new lease on life hoping to use her skills to find something more rewarding and ideally being able to do more 'good' for the world or at least leave it no worst then it has been.


    2.) In the Long Term, Kari hopes she can settle down after having some fun. She isn't certain if its starting up a little cozy business, finding some simple enjoyable job, or perhaps find a man who would take her and be with her to have a family with. Its something she still is not sure about, but she hopes her jounrey away from the dark underbelly of society

    Step 3:

    1.) Kari is wanted for the murder of several prominent individuals. While she lacks a name, she had gained some infamy as 'The Black Widow" a prostitute who murders her clients (due to her tactics of seduction used to lure them into a false sense of safety before murdering them). While her activity has been quiet, there have been the rare occasional murder attributed to "The Black Widow"

    2.) Kari is unknowingly being tracked by remainders of the Assassin organization she was part of.



    Step 4:

    1.) Len Cree - Len was the second in command of the gang that had originally took a young Kari in and was the one to give her name she grew attached to. He was roughly 13 at the time when he had met her. Despite getting older and leaving the group he had kept strong ties as the group continued on serving to provide aid or help teach them thieving tactics. She hasn't had contact with Len since she was kidnapped and made to work at the brothel. She holds a deep respect adopting the surname Lyn adapting his name a bit to honor him.

    2.) Fay Shen - A friend the young Kari met at the brothel. She was 4 years older then Kari at the time and had been there to try and comfort and support her as best she could having the same experience herself. She had helped to keep the emotionally fragile Kari in line. When Kari had murdered a rather brutal clients, she had helped Kari to escape putting her ownself at risk in the process.

    3.) "Shadow" - A fellow Assassin and the one who trained her. He was often the one who often trained new members, Kari being no exception who treated her like a daughter in training her in certain techniques. His strict aim of honor and his cold hearted ways has caused him to seek her out as an enemy with no hesitation.

    Step 5:

    1.) Kari fondly remembers her time spent with Len, particularly when she was 6 teaching her how to pick pocket that went terribly wrong when Len's desire to look cool had lead him to be carelessly caught and forcing the two to run away in what was a lengthy chase. It had caused him to nearly crush his leg tripping and falling into the water twisting his ankle. She had started calling him Limping Lenny copying off one of her fellow gang members teases at the guy.

    2.) Her first night in the brothel often haunts her dreams still remembering the face of the man and all the horrible things that came of and the hours of crying afterwards.

    3.) Shortly after leaving the Organization, Kari began to put on a more light hearted persona. Following in a vague reference to Len she became more bubbly and light hearted. She had attempted to seduce a guy to buy her food. Acting a bit childish she had been innocently playful ending up trying to get him to give her food, purposely sticking her cleavage in his face. Rather then having him react as she exacted when she flaunted in front of a 'client' being more seductive, she had watched the guy turn bright red and nervously fumble around seemingly in conflict. It was hard for her to not laugh seeing someone react in such a way, making it a fun element she started to play with more finding people to go along with it.


    Also, what is this game, we have equal boys and gals. Pfft we aren't allowed to have equal, we need more womanz then men...zenz!
    Last edited by HanaRei; 2016-05-28 at 05:46 AM.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    I guess I will call dibs on Dark Grey.

    Fai - The Wizard

    Spoiler: 10 Minute Background
    Show
    10-Minute Background of Fai

    Five Essential Concepts
    1) Before reaching the verdent lands of Hong Long, Fai was a member of a band of resistance fighters for several years who sought to bring down the corrupt priesthood of Valkka. When not in battle, Fai spent time making poultices and other alchemical treatments to help his wounded comrades. However, he fled after the priests of Valkka killed their leader, his brother.
    2) Seeking to escape the constant death and horror of his own homeland, the Loashu followed rumors of another land, taking his family across the Bing Feng Xue Mountains. Fai's wife, Tei, was hesitant to leave her home, but did so for their son Gao and daughter Puo. However, as they made their way through the dangerous mountain pass, they were ambushed by a pack of green skinned Shouren. Fai helped his wife and children flee but he was captured as a result. He spent a year in a cage under the 'care' of a vicious Shouren with a map made of scars along the left side of his face.
    3) After escaping the Shouren camp during a Kongren raid, the rat man was found, starving and dehydrated, by a Wusiren hermit named Bu who briefly took him in to nurse him back to health. During that time he was taught the language of the Empire and began learning the fundamental aspects of wizardry, continuing his studies when he made his way to Hong Long to seek out his loved ones.
    4) Despite the view many in Hong Long share about the Laoshu, Fai always makes an effort to prove that it is unfounded. He is kind, courteous, and willing to help whenever he can. He also does his best to ignore such stereotypes, unwilling to let others ignorance get to him.
    5) Unable to settle down, Fai travels the lands of the Empire and has only recently arrived in Langzhen. He is here to do what he has done in so many cities and villages he has visited, to sell his potions, tinctures, unguents, and assorted other alchemical creations while seeking information on his family.

    Two Goals
    1) Fai has long felt regret for leaving his homeland behind to be ruled over by the despicable priests who have become slaves to the Sippor and the false Valkka. One day he hopes to return and, with his magic, free his desert home from the vile tyrants once and for all.
    2) More than anything else, Fai hopes to find his wife and his children. He has not seen them for years, but it has not stopped him for a moment in seeking even a whisper of where they might be.

    Two Secrets
    1) Though Fai claims to revere the Elements, he still believes deeply in Valkka and makes his prayers to her. He wonders what has happened to her, knowing that she would never turn her favored children onto the path of Sippor.
    2) The scarred Shouren that tortured Fai during his captivity escaped the Kongren raid. He makes raids of his own now, leading the Shouren who reside near the Yin Caifu Pass, not far from where the Laoshu is now!

    Three People Tied To Fai
    1) Fai has made friends, or at least a positive acquaintance of a Longyi by the name of Qiao. While she was patrolling, a group of desperate bandits attempted to ambush her. Fai had been traveling the very same road, arriving in time to assist with fighting off the criminals before promptly leaving. They have met several times since then, each time leaving Qiao questioning her preconceived notions about the Laoshu.
    2) Among his fellow Laoshu, there is one by the name of On who holds a deep resentment for Fai. He also fought against the priesthood in their homeland, believing Fai would continue the fight when his brother passed away instead of fleeing. He considers Fai a coward and a traitor, though perhaps would be willing to help the old rat if he could be convinced that Fai left for the sake of his family.
    3) Fai has made occasional visits to the small home of Bu, the hermit who saved his life. He helps the aging Wushiren take care of her home, shares tea with her, and possibly gains some magical insight in the process.

    Three Memories
    1) Watching Tei flee into the mountains with their two children while he desperately held back the Shouren. He yelled that he would find her and he will die before he gives up hope of being reunited with her.
    2) The days of his youth he spent with his mother, gathering desert flowers and what few other herbs could grow in their land to make potions. He wonders if those pink desert flowers still blossom any more.
    3) The sting of the lash each time he was visited by the Shouren with the map of scars upon his face. He remembers them in his nightmares to this day and prays that the green skinned monster is in whatever hell his vicious people believe in.


    I was tempted to make a big, buff, badger lady but decided I wanted to be 'Splinter the Grey' instead.

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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Xiulan will take Medium Blue for her speaking color.

    Wei Xiulan


    Also Fell, I had a couple questions for ya. First one was on the Bard's Cutting Words ability, that lets me spend inspiration as a reaction to reduce an enemy attack/damage roll or ability check. How do you want to handle this functionally, since I generally won't know they're going to do that until they've already rolled it and the results been processed?

    The second question was more a setting clarification. Wusiren are disallowed from inheriting, but can they leave behind worldly possessions? Like say donate everything they own to a charity or institution upon their death?
    Last edited by Mathemagics; 2016-05-28 at 10:57 AM.

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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Well, one advice for reactions is that you state at the end of your post the conditions to trigger it, like a contingency spell.


    Cao Bai, the elemental cleric.

    And teal is his speech color. Dunno, sounds more waterlike to me. (plus blue was taken)

    Spoiler: 10 minute background
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    Part1:
    1. Cao Bai is a Shiren, even though he lives in a province dominated by Houren. As a Shiren, he is naturally connected with the water element. Living and interacting with Houren since young, he became more familiar with fire, even though said element doesn't match as easily as water with him.
    2. He also belongs to a growing guild of cartographers, charting the maps to the west. A minor branch of the more prestigious seafarers Shiren cartographers to the south, this guild aims to cover the lands infested by Shouren that explores with weaker resolve wouldn't dare venturing.
    3. Graced with mastery over the elements well above average the common Yuansu, he also preaches the way of Elemental Reverence.
    4. Considered as an extremely calm person. Shiren folklore says your personality can inherit what aspect of the water can get. A temperamental individual hails from a tumultuous ocean, while a stoic one hails from glaciers. Following the myth, Cao Bai could as well hail from a untouched pond, rarely raising his voice or losing his temper to anything.
    5. Physically, he has long black hair and a well groomed goatee. His eyes are of a turquoise that isn't uncommon among Shiren.


    Part2:
    1. Cao follows his guild goal of mapping the untamed lands of the Shouren to the sake of the empire.
    2. His personal goal is to pursue the myth of the legendary monastery of the sixth element that is said to lie deep in Shouren lands.

    Part3:
    1. Cao holds one cue concerning the whereabouts of the might monastery of the sixth element. Such subject isn't welcome among his colleagues, though, so he keeps this evidence to himself (I'll leave to the DM the exact nature of said cue)
    2. -Will leave to the DM-

    Part4:
    1. His mentor is lady Akami, also his aunt. She's well respected and well connected not only among cartographers, but phillosophers, politicians and adventurers. Cao Bai's affinity to the elements and devotion to the Elemental Reverence came to her as a welcome surprise.
    2. - Gon Li and Kil Lon were his childhood friends and later his partners in their expedition through the wilderness. Now both settled as teachers of caligraphy to children in Langzhen.
    3. - Tin Gamon is a influential jinshuren merchant of fur who funds Cao Bai's expeditions and is famous as a patron of natural sciences as well as a great supporter of the Elemental Reverence. Tin Wade, his son, believes Cao Bai is a dreamer and that his father is wasting his time with the explorer. Wade is knew as a shrewd merchant and even more talented in his craft than his father.

    Part5:
    1. "The Way of Five Elements" is one of the most influential books in the whole empire and comprises many lessons Cao Bai came to cherish. Among them, how Wood, giving the circunstances, can become mightier than Metal (intend on learning Shillelagh cantrip from Magic Initiate in the future)
    2. His family sigil, a Crested Goshawk, once manifested as pure force to protect him from a tiger when he was younger. He learned to manifest said spirit. (it's his Spiritual Weapon, instead of being shaped as a weapon, it is shaped as a hawk)
    3. The momment he promised Gon Li and Kil Lon he would be the biggest archaeologist of the whole empire when they were all little kids. Gon said he would be richest merchant while Kil dreamed about being the mightiest warrior. It seems now both Gon and Kil started focusing on more realistic goals leaving Cao to keep daydreaming.
    Last edited by Dudu; 2016-05-28 at 11:09 AM.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Lord Of Mantas reporting, sir! Glad to be here, sir!

    And yeesh, I really missed this going up. I'm not usually the last one in.

    Thankfully, purple and indigo are different colors, so I can still get Hei Jiafa - The Warlock's speech color in!

    Ooh, this is so exciting... When can we expect the initial IC post?
    Last edited by Lord Of Mantas; 2016-05-28 at 12:04 PM.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    And Estralita is here, right between Giving her dog a bath and going to the local convenience store.

    Li Mei is here as well speaking in a respectfulGrey
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Nuuu! My indigo was suppose to steal away your desire for purple to get revenge on you for the other game!

    I mean... um... potatoes?
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Quote Originally Posted by HanaRei View Post
    Nuuu! My indigo was suppose to steal away your desire for purple to get revenge on you for the other game!

    I mean... um... potatoes?
    ...what other game? The only other game we both applied for was WoB and we both got in.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Of Mantas View Post
    ...what other game? The only other game we both applied for was WoB and we both got in.
    Maybe something with space it. in. :P
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Oh, that one. Honestly, I'd forgotten about it... but why do you want revenge on me for that again?
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    IC should be up later today.

    As for the Bard thing, I say just make some contingencies in your posts. We'll see how that plays, then make adjustments as needed :)
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2016-05-28 at 05:58 PM.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Yaaay!

    Also, I've named the city where Xiulan and Jiafa met - it can now be seen in his sheet.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Of Mantas View Post
    Oh, that one. Honestly, I'd forgotten about it... but why do you want revenge on me for that again?
    Cause... evil! *rubs hands together menacingly*

    Kari should be pretty fun to play. So much fun range to play her as. XD
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Quote Originally Posted by HanaRei View Post
    Cause... evil! *rubs hands together menacingly*
    *considers this*

    ...hmm, okay, fair enough.

    Also, I'm an Ettin now.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    So, considering our characters are all in the village or have lived there for some time, do we want to figure out if there have been any prior interactions?

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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Well, Xiulan and Jiafa are inextricably linked, but I'm not sure about the others, here. Given Jiafa's main profession as a charlatan/conman/hustler, it would probably be best if none of you guys had met him in that context, but if you want to have previously met him for a small mercenary job/hunt or something, I'm all ears.

    Also, who's number 7 who got saved? There are only six of us...
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Of Mantas View Post
    Well, Xiulan and Jiafa are inextricably linked, but I'm not sure about the others, here. Given Jiafa's main profession as a charlatan/conman/hustler, it would probably be best if none of you guys had met him in that context, but if you want to have previously met him for a small mercenary job/hunt or something, I'm all ears.

    Also, who's number 7 who got saved? There are only six of us...
    A Houren NPC. It didn't feel right for him to talk before you guys :)
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Kari is pretty much new there. If you met her... she would come off as a bit of an airhead, though quite cute (if you find her attractive). She does flaunt herself in much more innocent ways. She will be the ditzy girl on the team, totally not hiding any other wise about her! *nods innocently.*
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Maybe we should settle on a minimum post rate. I say one per day is usually good. Is every one here ok with one post per day (or more, if they have the time to spare, one is just the minimum)

    I know all too well that if it falls below that threshold the campaign rapidly ceases existing.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    I usually try to post in every campaign I am in at least once per day as a matter of principle, as I have observed that same thing, but I've also found that as long as people keep the group posted as to any delays or IRL matters that keep them from posting, that also works. And, of course, care must be taken to make sure that time is allowed for each player to contribute and to not hog the limelight.

    Also, creating threads on Skype for discussion is a good way to keep in touch, though your usage may vary by thread.
    Last edited by Lord Of Mantas; 2016-05-29 at 03:13 PM.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Rawr! Sorry for my lack of a post yesterday. Having some issues on my end that have been a bit distracting to me. >.< Hopefully Kari post is an entertaining enough intro of her poking her head up making some remarks. :P
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    It is, actually.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    So I was getting ready to post, and it occured to me that Mei would like to do some sort of small gesture of respect for the dead. In Lujing, are there any specific sayings or rituals that one does to give due to the dead?
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Quote Originally Posted by Estralita View Post
    So I was getting ready to post, and it occured to me that Mei would like to do some sort of small gesture of respect for the dead. In Lujing, are there any specific sayings or rituals that one does to give due to the dead?
    The most popular poetic structure is 5-5-4/5 so five syllables, five syllables and either four or five syllables.

    Common prayers include:

    You have died, we weep
    Bless your life, we do
    Come home soon, we wait

    Heaven, Earth and Hell
    Good, Mid' and Evil
    Walk straight, stray none

    Shining light is good
    Blackest dark is bad
    Middle Path is best

    We pray, cry and wail
    We mourn, weep and wait
    We love you, always

    Walk the Middle Path
    Stray not a little
    Return to us whole


    Feel free to make up some of your own as well :)
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2017-01-06 at 03:24 PM.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Some other random bits:

    - You must remove any red clothing from the dead, lest their spirits become trapped on earth, in the form of ghosts.
    - When unmarried men and children die, their funerals cannot be attended by their parents or anyone in an authoritative position above them (like a boss, a Commanding Officer, etc.).
    - When the corpse of a person is on display, it must be guarded and watched over by the deceased family, friends and peers.
    - Priests and/or Monks must continuously read rites for the deceased for at least a full day, so that the deceased's soul may pass uneventfully from the earth and through the Chongsheng, or the Gates of Rebirth. If the rites are not read, then the soul of the dearly departed maybe lured away from the path to the gate, leading them to Heaven or Hell or even lead them into becoming ghosts.
    - There are five ceremonies that must be held for the dearly departed. Each is to be performed by the head of the family (or his representative, if s/he is barred from attending). These are the ritual cleansing (the day of), the wake (five days later), the burial (ten days later), the visitation (the night of the burial) and the last rites (one hundred days later).
    - If the burial ceremonies cannot be completed right away, then a priest/monk may invoke the right of Dengai, which will protect the souls of the recently departed for ten days, at which point the ceremonies must begin immediately.

    #Religion
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2016-05-29 at 10:12 PM.
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    Default Re: OOC: Sentinels of Houshen [D&D 5E] Thread: I

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathemagics View Post

    The second question was more a setting clarification. Wusiren are disallowed from inheriting, but can they leave behind worldly possessions? Like say donate everything they own to a charity or institution upon their death?
    Donation is 100% legal and endorsed by both the clergy and the government.
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